Wednesday, 18 November 2015

Only 2.3bn Spent On Presidential Jet's - Presidency Speaks up

Contrary to reports that it spent over five billion naira on ten presidential jets, the presidency has said that only a little above two billion has been spent on its air fleet from May till date.

“Eagle One” – Buhari’s presidential Boeing 737 Business Jet

The presidency in a statement made at Abuja on Tuesday,November 17, said that the money spent was used on maintenance of the presidential air fleet.

Garba Shehu, the senior special assistant to the president (media and Publicity), expressed displeasure for what he described as a “fictional report” that has discredited the current administration all over the media.

Shehu said: “The government is focused on solving the many major issues our country faces in the areas of the economy, corruption and security. Yet almost every week, the presidency has to also deal with the distractions which do nothing but distract from the task of government.”

The presidential aide in referring to documents he had requested from the operational office of the presidential fleet, stressed that after his attention was drawn to the speculative report, it was discovered that the sum of N2.3 billion was released to the Presidential Air Fleet (PAF) by the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation (OAGF).

The spokesman noted that the government is operating on the basis of transparency and as such could have availed all necessary documents to the media, other than have people damage the image of government and the good management of PAF.

He noted that the sum covered expenses between May and November 2015.

READ ALSO: Petroleum Minister Orders DPP To Distribute Hoarded Fuel To The Public For FREE

The expenses include releases for personnel cost, overhead and capital expenditure out of the sum of N5,190,381,386.00 appropriated for PAF on the 2015 budget.

The documents also showed that the sum of N2,127,103,086.66 had so far been expended, leaving a balance of N172,568,912.34 from the amount released.

Shehu said: “The sum of N149,062,791.12 was transferred from the PAG’s operation account to the Treasury Single Account (TSA), following the president’s recent directive.”

He stressed that: “The sum of N23,801,122.17 remains unutilised out of the funds so far released.”

Adding: “During the period May 31 2015 till date, the fleet expended the sum of N1,358,910,962.75 to settle outstanding liabilities carried over from last year till May 2015. Furthermore, the sum of N500 million was refunded to the office of the National Security Adviser(NSA) for financial support rendered to the Fleet prior to release of funds from the OAGF.

“Thus, the fleet expended the sum of N449,081,037.25 within the last months comprising N98,500,218.00 for operations, N165,373,176.91 on training and N85,500,116.75 on personnel medicals and overhe

ad. Additionally, the sum of N99,715,493.51 was expended on aircraft maintenance, spares, and subscription services required for operations.”

An inventory of PAF-Aircraft was also given, showing that the fleet consists of: one

1. 1× 737 BBJ
2. 1× G550
3. 1× G500
4. 2× Falcon 7X
5. 1× HS 4000
6. 2× Agusta139
7. 2× Agusta 101

The presidential spokes man urged Nigerians to always verify what they read and hear regarding the government, stressing that a balance of stories is very important. He said the public must endeavour to hear from all sides before drawing their conclusions.

 It will be recalled that investigation by the Punch alleged that President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration had spent about N5.8bn on the 10-aircraft presidential air fleet it received from the immediate past administration of Goodluck Jonathan.